42 is the saga of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier and becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson.
Veteran actor, Harrison Ford stars as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager who signed Robinson.
Nicole Beharie is featured as Robinson's biggest fan and wife, Rachel.
42 is a stimulating, historic, well-produced, and directed movie and it gets our highest rating: See It!.
While the cast is strong, Chadwick Boseman lacks the on-screen presence to succeed in the leading role. He's overshadowed by Harrison Ford in every scene they share. Boseman is even minimized by Nicole Beharie when they are on camera together. It's a combination of Boseman's weak persona and stellar performances of Ford and Beharie.
While much praise has been given to Branch Rickey for his courageous move in signing Robinson, 42 touches briefly on one of Rickey's primary motivations: economics. Urban areas where most major league teams played, had large black communities who stayed away from the segregated major leagues. Signing black players was one way to get those communities to come to games.
The movie focuses upon the racism faced by Robinson but also taught subtle lessons on bigotry. In one scene, a father and son sat excited in their anticipation of seeing the Dodgers play their home team. When Robison was introduced, the father along with other adults began calling the Dodger rookie the "N" word. The boy seemed a bit confused at first. But then soon joined in the slurring of Robinson. The kid had just learned to be a racist.
The film also references the fact that some players threatened to leave the league rather play with Robinson.
One final point, the baseball scenes are well staged, so sports fans won't be disappointed.
42 is rated PG-13 and is less than 2 hours. And again it's a See It.
- Published in Movie Reviews